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UN torture prevention body to conduct first visit to Palestine

08 September 2023

GENEVA (8 September 2023) – The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) will conduct its first visit to the State of Palestine from 10 to 21 September to assess measures taken to protect people deprived of liberty from torture and ill-treatment.

The SPT will also assist the Palestinian Authorities on the establishment of a national preventive mechanism (NPM), a monitoring body that all States parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) must establish.

“We look forward to finally being able to visit the State of Palestine to provide advice to the Authorities on the establishment of an NPM, which is overdue; we will also examine the situation in detention facilities and how Authorities are implementing their obligations to prevent torture and ill-treatment and provide adequate conditions of detention,” said Daniel Fink, who will head SPT delegation.

“We will meet authorities at the highest levels and judicial, administrative and security bodies. The delegation will also visit detention facilities, interviewing persons detained as well as staff,” he added.

Places to be visited by the SPT delegation in the territory include prisons, police stations and other facilities under the control of the Palestinian Authorities. At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Palestine.

The SPT is mandated to visit all States that are parties to the OPCAT. The State of Palestine ratified the OPCAT on 29 December 2017.

The SPT delegation will be composed of Daniel Fink, head of Delegation (Switzerland), Abdallah Ounnir (Morocco), Carmen Comas-Mata Mira (Spain), and Hamida Dridi (Tunisia). The delegation will be accompanied by two human rights officers from the SPT Secretariat.

For media inquiries or for more information, please contact:
In the State of Palestine – Joao Nataf at [email protected]
In Geneva - Vivian Kwok at [email protected]

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture monitors States parties’ adherence to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which to date has been ratified by 92 countries. The Subcommittee is made up of 25 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.

The Subcommittee has the mandate to visit States that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, during which it may visit any place where persons may be deprived of their liberty and assist those States in preventing torture and ill-treatment. The Subcommittee communicates its observations and recommendations to States through confidential reports, which it encourages countries to make public.

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